Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

  "She wrapped him in clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."                     (Luke 2:7)

  Many people I encountered this month said they weren't in the spirit of the season, it didn't feel like Christmas, or they were depressed about the holiday. Why did they feel this way?
  No matter what happens to me throughout the year, as soon as Advent comes along, I am ready to put up a Christmas tree, decorate the house, send cards, do more baking, and listen to Christmas carols. All of these things are a comfort to me at a time that can be sad or stressful.
  We remember our loved ones who are no longer with us to celebrate and worry about not having enough money to buy presents. My deceased family members would want me to recall happy times, not cry about them. And, as far as money, if I plan wisely during the year, I'm debt free when it comes time for holiday shopping.
  I am definitely a kid at heart and although I never force others to be happy at Christmas, I try to bring a little bit of joy to people I know are hurting.
  It's the middle of the night right now which is thought to be the time of Christ's birth. Tradition says he was born in a stable with farm animals. St. Francis of Assisi is recognized for creating the first living nativity.
  In 1223, he was in the tiny hill town of Grecio, Italy about to celebrate Midnight Mass and discovered that the chapel in the Franciscan hermitage was too small to fit everyone. So, St. Francis of Assisi received permission from the sovereign Pontiff to create an outdoor altar and manger. He gathered hay, an ox, an ass, and sheep to commemorate the nativity of the Infant Jesus.
  In "St. Francis and the Christmas Creche" by Rev. William Saunders, he writes that "although the story is long old the message is clear to us... May we never forget to see in our hearts the Little Babe of Bethlehem, who came to save us from sin."
  Merry Christmas!

(The image above is by James Christensen.)

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